July 25, 2012

They could be giant and very frightening: The dangers of camping

Today, I wrote my article for the Watertown Gazette and submitted it. I am so excited to see it on August 2nd! I've already submitted my article for the Roane Reader too, and that will be out at the beginning of August. I am also waiting to hear back from The Tennessean to find out when I can submit an article! I feel so purposeful. Important, even. Actually, I feel like a freaking celebrity. A very small, not-well-known, F-list celebrity, but a celebrity nonetheless.

 This Friday is Michael's birthday, so we are going camping with some friends to celebrate. We always camp at the same spot, and I love it. There is a rock fireplace, a grill grate, logs to sit on (but when I noticed that the world's largest grand-daddy long leg population resides on those logs, we started bringing chairs), awesome hiking trails, a waterfall, and the fire tower. It just isn't possible to have a bad time when all these amenities are available to you. Except...

Okay, this may sound ridiculous, but sometimes I get really scared while I'm camping. It always happens the same way: First, I'm fine. Everything is going great, it's still kind of light outside, and the good times are a rollin'. Then, it gets dark. Like, really dark. And everyone decides it's time to go to bed. I try to goad everyone into staying up for a little while longer to avoid the fear that I know will hit me when I lay down and it gets quiet, but you can't restart the party once everyone is ready for bed.

So, off to bed. In a tent, where you can see shadows on the walls (and the shadows usually look like a hand with a hook, or a chainsaw). And friends, it NEVER fails--every time I go camping, I start hearing what Molly calls "sceery-sounds", or scary sounds. Last time we camped, we thought there were wild hooligans in the forest with us, making some  weird high-pitched sound with clicking. I was imagining a tribe of cannibalistic African bushmen with spears and face paint. I wasn't the only one who was scared. And then we found out the sound was being made by a bird. A night bird. Which was still sort of scary, because who knows what night birds look like, anyway? They could be giant and very frightening. I'll assume they are.

Another time we were camping, just Michael and I, and there were some other people camping on the mountain below us. When we got into our tent that night, around 3 am, we started hearing footsteps and laughter. Michael was asleep, so I was on super-alert and sat up to listen. The footsteps were so close, and when I saw the beam of light from flashlights, I freaked out and lay back down with Michael. I pinched him hard to wake him up, only to find he was already awake (I swear I didn't know this beforehand). The people walked off the hiking trail in front of our campsite and right in front of our tent. They stopped for a second, and then walked on. I was certain that these people wanted to kill us. Evidently, they did not. Michael thinks they were just drunk and stumbled through our site by accident. Apparently I'm "not reasonable" and "overly paranoid". I was fearing for my life! Come on.

Anyway.

Oh, my dad's birthday and Michael's mom's birthday are on Saturday the 28th, so happy birthday to them! When Michael and I first got together and realized our parents shared a birthday, we took this as a sign that we were meant to be together. We were right.

That's all she wrote!
Love,
Debra

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